Fundamental shift in the balance of power

The 2008 recruiting class represents a fundamental shift in the balance of power in the SEC.

Alabama and Georgia are on the cusp of greatness. Marc Richt has the Bulldogs running like a well-oiled machine through the SEC East. He is poised to extend his lead in the division with his 2008 class (currently ranked #2 by Rivals.com and #2 by Scout.com).

Kevin Scarbinsky used his Wednesday column to warn Auburn fans about the coming dominance of UGA.

Richt has shown he can coach, and with two conference titles, wins this year over Auburn and Florida—who knows what next season will bring as the Bulldogs mature. If Scarbinsky’s column is right, another big win over Auburn is a possibility. Perhaps a run at the conference title and a national title. Some fans suggest Richt loses games he should win. So far, they are right. But next year could be Richt’s most talented Georgia squad. We can better assess his performance in 2008.

Of course, Auburn fans are already concerned about the rebirth of the Alabama program under Nick Saban.

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But has Auburn ever faced its two biggest rivals on the upswing like this?

Certainly not within the last 20 years.

Georgia is ahead of Alabama in the “process.” But Tide fans must be happy with the direction of the program showcased in 2008 recruiting.

Alabama’s coaching staff knows what it is doing for the first time since Dennis Franchione was at the Capstone. If there was a knock on Franchione, it was his lack of charisma on the recruiting trail. To be honest, Franchione only had two years to recruit at Alabama so his record isn’t fully developed.

His recruiting record with A&M wasn’t stellar. His classes (as rated by Rivals.com) were #43 in 2007, #27 in 2006, #8 in 2005.

At least, Franchione excelled on the field and in preparation while at Alabama.

Now Alabama has a coaching staff that is more than adequate in preparation and on the field game management—and can recruit.

From a strategic viewpoint, the verbal commitments showcase the improvements. While nay-sayers are quick to point out a verbal is non-binding, it is better to have a verbal commitment than not have one. It is a strong indication for how the 2008 recruiting class will conclude. The trend is obvious: Saban is winning.

The trend started when Saban crossed his personal Rubicon and headed for Tuscaloosa, back to college football. The 2008 class is his first major victory in a new conference balance of power. A balance that should have UGA dominating the SEC East and Alabama dominating the SEC West for years to come.

If the trends play out as they should, that leaves Auburn in its worst shape since Pat Dye took over the program.

Broadcasting shift

As many blogs were discussing on Tuesday, Lincoln Financial has sold the SEC broadcasting rights to Raycom Media, a Montgomery based broadcasting firm financed by David Bronner and the Retirement Systems of Alabama.

Most fans are hopeful for an improvement in broadcast quality. I’m not. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt; however, if they are anything like the incompetent newspapers financed by David Bronner known as cnhi based in Birmingham, then the television quality will be substantially worse.

CNHI is by far the worst newspaper chain in America. Another great distinction for the state of Alabama. Now Raycom can showcase its ability or incompetence. I’ll hope for the best, but I’d bet on incompetence.

4 Comments

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  1. 1
    My Personal Blog » Fundamental shift in the balance of power

    […] Check it out! While looking through the blogosphere we stumbled on an interesting post today.Here’s a quick excerpt The 2008 recruiting class represents a fundamental shift in the balance of power in the SEC. Alabama and Georgia are on the cusp of greatness. Marc Richt has the Bulldogs running like a well-oiled machine through the SEC East. He is poised to extend his lead in the division with his 2008 class (currently ranked #2 by Rivals.com and #2 by Scout.com). Kevin Scarbinsky used his Wednesday column to warn Auburn fans about the coming dominance of UGA. Richt has shown he can coach, and with two […]

  2. 2
    crs

    First I thinks its funny that anyone would think richt loses to people he shouldn’t. Last year yes uga did lose to kty and vandy, however when you play a freshmen quarterback that happens, the fact he pulled 9 wins with a true freshmen qb playing was quite amazing. This year we lost to a sc team early in the year that used their exp dline to whoop our oline featuring 3 freshmen playing their first second game. We later lost to tenn on the road hardly an embarrassment when you realize our secondary features two true sophomore corners and a redshirt freshmen saftey versus a senior ainge – this was not a good matchup for uga. The fact we stand 8-2 with a true sophomore qb, a young d and a very young oline where 8 of the top linemen are true or redshirt freshmen is incredible. Should we lose to kty or georgia tech it will still have been a great effort and in truth every win over 8 is an overachievment for this years team. As far as next year, we will be quite talented but we play a brutal schedule with a trip to arizona st. Out of conference and our usual matchup with state rival georgia tech. We also make trips to south carolina, kentucky, auburn and lsu. As you know we host alabama. And as usual we travel to jax for flordia. So we play a top ten arizona st, what should be a great fl, a talented tenn, and the three best teams in the second west. My early prediction would be 8-4 or 9-3. Hope fully coach richt is at uga for many more years to come. I am realistic though in the conference that fl and lsu have deeper recruiting bases that give them a competitive advantage. I believe richt will continue to put us in position to compete with anyone in the nation. I will say as long as the national title is a sham at best, I will continue to value the conference championship as the best prize in the country. No conference has more depth and more wars week in and week out than the southeastern conference. Year in and year out I would put our champion against any team in the nation.

  3. 3
    capstonereport

    I think Richt’s work this season has shown he is a great coach. When you really look at the losses, sure, UGA should’ve beaten South Carolina and Tennessee.

    But the SC game was a fluke, and Tennessee just got lucky. That happens in competitive SEC football.

    I picked UGA to win conference this year. The SC loss had me worrying, but they are now playing better than anyone else in the conference. They could upset LSU provided the Vols stumble and let you guys into the title game.

    My prediction for UGA next year would be 11-1 or 10-2 range. I’m very high on your QB.

  4. 4
    Kevin

    Anyone who believes in the so-called “rankings” of rivals.com is a chump. There are so many intangibles that end up affecting the average recruit in college that those rankings end up meaning virtually nothing. But if it makes the bammers feel better, we can give them a NC trophy for recruiting based on rankings which are based on virtually nothing. There, that should make you all feel better.

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